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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At Bradney's suggestion, here's my reply to Bill and Daphne on what we might ask in the rules to make the process that Randy Zimmer went through in Rim work better. Part 1 is specific replies to Daphne's points that I think show we have inadequate procedures in the current rules. Part 2 has 2 speicifc proposals to change that. Wording improvements, views on possible unintended results, etc. are wanted.

Thanks,
Mark Bowers :)

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PART 1

>8.2.A.5: 5 minute penalty for initial traffic citation
>(other than speeding) Note: 8.2.C.1 allows for exclusion
>for more than one traffic citation.

Does not apply here; no citation was issued. Note to everyone: The requirement for a citation to be issued is that this provides documented proof of an offense from an independent party, that avoids the possibility of one competitor "finking" on another for advantage.

>
>8.5.2 - regarding the conduct of contestants
>Any participant charged with an offense under this Article
>shall be fully appraised of the charges and afforded an
>opportunity to answer then in writing to the RSD.

Daphne, I do believe that this section on unsportsmanlike conduct is intended to apply to "after-the-event" discipline, when grave improprieties can be dealt with after the heat of battle, like on-track incidents of intentionally wrecking someone else, fighting with a spectator, etc. This language comes from road racing events, where you have one race, and that's it, not what are a series of small races (stages). All of the processes described involve written actions with no time limit, and the entities involved on the SCCA side are the Pro Rally Department (PRD) and the Rally-Solo Department. Even if the PRD is represented in the form of Kurt or some other designated person, these procedures cannot be adequately during the progress of an event. The only portion of 8.5 that applies is the first paragraph of section A, which sets forth a requirement for conduct, but no specific penalties.
>
>Section 8.2 prescribes the above as normal penalties, but
>does allow the Event Steward to exclude a competitor if
>warranted by the offence.

The hole in using this in Randy's situation is that unportsmanlike conduct is not a listed offense. It appears that this should be added.


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PART 2

Daph, Bill, et al:

It appears to me that the only possible charge against Randy that cold possibly be pulled out of the rule book is unsportsmanlike conduct. However, I think that application of this charge of this offense is a bit of a stretch, depending on what you think "sportsmanlike conduct" is. I think the real charge should be along the lines of "conduct that violates state law but does not involve a citation, and/or endangers the public, or threatens the future of the sport or event".

Hmmmm, maybe this IS unsportsmanlike conduct. If so, Bill, first rules change suggestion: I would suggest that a broad definition of unsportsmanlike conduct be proposed for inclusion in section 8.2, as a specific, chargeable penalty, with specific penalites outlined. I can try to wordsmith this if you like. (Where is ole' Adrian when you need him? Ooooh Adrian.......)

Then, specific procedures should be incorporated for exclusion during an event; the procedures in 8.5 are not intended, and are quite inadequate, for an "event in progress" in dealing with this situation.

I would suggest that the whole issue of exclusion while an event is in progress be addressed specifically in section 8.2 by added language. Suggestions on wording:

" A competitor whom the event steward considers for immediate exclusion from an rally in progress will be presented with the charges immediately, and will be given 30 minutes to respond in person to the event steward(and explain the situation; bad language here), before the penalty may be enforced. This process can only be applied at a major break in the event, when adequate time is avialable for this process."

My rationale: Charges for a serious penalty are presented, defense is allowed, and adequate time is insured. The bad thing about a rally exclusion is that if you are vindicated later, there is no redress.

Your thoughts are welcome!

Mark B.:)
 

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Mark -
A great and timely discussion topic since I am sitting here with the rule book listing all the changes I would like to see next year. I plan to look at exactly the rules you mentioned shortly and will post as soon as I do.

I'm thinking there are a few things that the rules will need to address:

1) Preserve the right of an organizer to exclude anyone who is being very bad. We can write rules all we want, but someone, someday, is going to do something we haven't thought about and we need to be able to take immediate action.

2) Draw a clearer line between actions that are punishable by a time penalty and those that result in exclusion.

3) Provide a clear and fair process for allowing a competitor to understand the charges against them and provide them with the opportunity to defend their actions.

In the previous thread (perhaps the longest in Special Stage history?) someone made the comment that you are innocent until proven guilty. I'm not sure when rally became a democracy, and I believe it is important to maintain the rights of the organizers. Let's face it, if you are about to be excluded, you have done something very bad, and your actions may have a lasting impact on the sport. Sometimes we have to take actions, that while not fair to the individual, are for the greater good. That's hard to accept in our society, but it is a reality in our sport.

I will post what I come up with when I am done.
 

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As an aside to this discussion, it should be noted that when faced with a penalty of exclusion, a competitor can protest that action IMMEDIATELY and be able to continue the rally pending the hearing of the protest, where defenses could be presented. When the protest period expires, there is no recourse (except, of course, the Internet.)The stewward could convene the protest committee immediately, but it's unlikely.

The right to an appeal of a protest is clear...but the right to an APPEAL of an ACTION is not. The protest appears to be necessary to preserve your rights.

If you think you may do something questionable, keep that protest form and cash in the car...

Bruce
 

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No exclusion for anything short of murder

OK, that's a slight exaggeration.

It's very important to consider the real (monetary) damages exclusion causes. Is the SCCA or the organizers going to repay an excluded competitor for the money and time he spent on travel, service, entry fees, etc?

So if a competitor is suspected of bad conduct of a nature that is anything short of that which would cause the rally to be shut down, don't throw him out. There are other ways of dealing with discipline that don't open the SCCA and organizers up to possible liability.

I don't mean to open up a can of worms, but I spend a couple of thousand bucks on every event I run, and I want to make sure that I won't be thrown out for unsportsmanlike conduct if I forget to say "thank you" to the Dunkin' Donuts cashier and it's witnessed by an SCCA official who got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
>As an aside to this discussion, it should be noted that when
>faced with a penalty of exclusion, a competitor can protest
>that action IMMEDIATELY and be able to continue the rally
>pending the hearing of the protest, where defenses could be
>presented.

Hmmmmm. this is something I did not think of.

When the protest period expires, there is no
>recourse.

What time period? I see nothing specified in the rules about time periods for "during the event" protests. The appeals process is defined, but it is clearly a "post event" process.

The stewward
>could convene the protest committee immediately, but it's
>unlikely.
>
So this would allow continued competition?

>The right to an appeal of a protest is clear...but the right
>to an APPEAL of an ACTION is not. The protest appears to be
>necessary to preserve your rights.
>
>If you think you may do something questionable, keep that
>protest form and cash in the car...

Thanks for this info Bruce. I still think this whole area needs work in the rules if competitors face the possibility of exclusion during the event's progress.

Mark B.
 

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RE: No exclusion for anything short of murder

The cops would get you for that one, Jon. You just can't go around dissing donut clerks man, you're likely to get shot! ;)

-DougHnut
 

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RE: No exclusion for anything short of murder

>OK, that's a slight exaggeration.
>
>It's very important to consider the real (monetary) damages
>exclusion causes. Is the SCCA or the organizers going to
>repay an excluded competitor for the money and time he spent
>on travel, service, entry fees, etc?
>
>So if a competitor is suspected of bad conduct of a nature
>that is anything short of that which would cause the rally
>to be shut down, don't throw him out. There are other ways
>of dealing with discipline that don't open the SCCA and
>organizers up to possible liability.
>
>I don't mean to open up a can of worms, but I spend a couple
>of thousand bucks on every event I run, and I want to make
>sure that I won't be thrown out for unsportsmanlike conduct
>if I forget to say "thank you" to the Dunkin' Donuts cashier
>and it's witnessed by an SCCA official who got up on the
>wrong side of the bed that morning.

In the in-town stage of Maine, the last corner a 90 left just after the Dunkin Donuts...

I think we have to be carefull about trying to make a rule or set of rules that is too specific. We have to have a happy medium. The bottom line is that Organisers need to be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of the sport. If there are 100 of us in a room, we may have 100 different opinions on what that is.

If we try to be too specific, then there will always be ways around the way the rules are written. Or the rule book will have 10,000 pages.

On the other hand, if we don't have them specific enough we have the reverse problem of organizers being accused of treating individual competitors under different standards. The organisers at Rim have certainly proved that they treat everyone the same, even the "big boys".

There has been much discussion about what happened to Randy. I think if we weren't specifically on site and witnessed the driving in question then we would be best to stay out of it.

Every team should have a personal rule to follow when transiting between stages: Drive like a boy scout and obey even the dumb laws and you don't have to worry about pissing off civilians or attracting the attention of someone that will make a fuss with the organizers. Rim has a well published history of being watched like a hawk by the Forest service, and local police. I imagine that happens at all the other ProRally's as well. We are driving on public roads with Numbers on the side of our car with exhausts that will wake up the moderately dead.

It is quite common for a "official" up in the NW to follow a Rally car out of service that is late and has incentive to speed...
 

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Trevor, saywhat?

>
>There has been much discussion about what happened to Randy.
>I think if we weren't specifically on site and witnessed the
>driving in question then we would be best to stay out of it.
>
Wasn't Randy told by Dan that Kurt saw blah blah blah and Randy is therefore excluded from further competition? So Dan did not actually see the alleged incident, (of many incidents admitted to by Randy), which Dan then excluded Randy for? This incident worthy of exclusion was to have taken place in front of or witnessed by a Police Officer that did nothing? Hmm

As admitted by Randy he did many bad things and the exclusion was probably justified. The question as I see it is "was the rule book followed in the handling and action of administering the punishment"?
Also the exclusion as we hear it was by SCCA officals, not the event organizers, should not be confused. IMHO:* :* :*
 

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Bad Boy Before?

What do you do if a competitor does something the night before the event that makes the Rally look bad? We had an incedent of "illeagl" activity before the event started. The competitor did go through the court and is making restitution, but it still gives us a bad name in the community. All the locals know is that some "Rally Guy" damaged their property and the Rally needs to pay. If I had known about this during the event I would have made up some rule so that team could not run.
We may ask for a Sanction Exemption this year that would say something like, "Doing anything, before, during, or after this event which may jeperdize future road permission may be grounds for expulsion."
Organizers need to be able to say, "What do you think you're doing! Go to your room young man!"
Competitors, (and workers) need to remember that they are a guest in town representing the Rally and should behave themselves.
 
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